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Hermanus Whale Festival gets cancelled as mop-up operations continue after Cape storm

R320 road in Caledon. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency

R320 road in Caledon. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency

Published Sep 29, 2023


Cape Town - The 32nd Hermanus Whale Festival has been cancelled due to the damage caused by the recent Cape storms. This comes as the Province and the City’s mop-up operation and assessing of areas affected by the bad weather continues.

The festival directors said they made the decision after a meeting with the Overstrand Municipality’s events team and mayor yesterday.

“The health and well-being of our visitors, role-players, stallholders and volunteers are of utmost importance to us. Given the ongoing challenges and uncertainties related to the aftermath of the Cape storm of the previous weekend, we believe it is the responsible and prudent choice to cancel the Hermanus Whale Festival this year.”

The team said a full risk assessment was done, including the water issue, and an evaluation of the potential impact on public health and safety leading to the cancellation.

To date, according to the City, about 16 000 people had been affected, with about 7 100 informal structures affected across the metropole.

An assessment was completed in Kampies, Overcome Heights, Hangberg and Rasta Camp in Ocean View to ascertain the damage as a result of sinkholes which formed around structures in these areas.

Residents from Stormhaven Retirement Village and the 30 people who are still being accommodated in the Macassar hall said there was an indication that they would move back to their homes by this evening.

Residents of Kay’s Caravan Park were evacuated to the Helpende Hand organisation for two days. Twenty-one people have gained unauthorised access to the Sir Lowry’s Pass community hall.

Humanitarian agencies such as Sassa, Department of Social Development, NGOs and various community-based organisations have been assisting with humanitarian relief to more than 10 000 affected people.

The roads and infrastructure management department is providing milling and sand in many affected settlements. Assistance will also be provided in jetting out water in some flooded areas, the City said.

Weather-related power outages are still being experienced in a few areas. The electricity department is working to restore power, while the recreation and parks department is assisting with removal of uprooted trees.

Pastor Ntandazo Mlata from Villiersdorp said the situation was bad in the area. The only way vehicles could reach the area was via Worcester.

“About five families from our informal settlements area are occupying a resource centre close to town. Meanwhile, about 45 individuals from other families are pressing at their relatives’ places. Besides the obvious urgent need for food, residents of that area are in need of building materials.”

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